1. #1
    TheMightyMcClaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Ann Arbor, MI

    Stretching machines - worth it?

    So I'm pretty big on multitasking. Last night, I had a neat idea - if I'm going to be fucking around on a computer, why not stretch while I do it?
    so I plopped my laptop down on the floor, sat down in a straddle stretch, and answered emails and whatnot for an hour. I'm currently so seated as I write this message.
    Anyways, I've been pretty inconsistent about flexibility training for the past... oh, six to eight years, and have stayed relatively static in that regard. I'd still really *like* to get stupid flexible, for both martial arts and breakdancing purposes.
    Anyways, point is, I'm considering getting one of those stretching machines and making it my new "desk". One of these guys:
    Anyone have experience with them? Did they help, or just a gimmick?
    The fool thinks himself immortal,
    If he hold back from battle;
    But old age will grant him no truce,
    Even if spears spare him.

  2. #2
    Permalost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    San Diego
    street paddleboarding
    I got one for free when my old school was getting rid of one with a stripped wheel (I just epoxied it back together). I had the same idea- I'd stretch while reading or Internetting or whatever. To me, it ended up being a big waste of space- they're pretty big and need a big arc to open up, so you'll probably be moving it often. Ultimately though, the bulkiness isn't why I didn't use it and didn't keep it.

    Maybe you'll use it all the time and get super flexible, but I think the reason mine fell into disuse is that I sort of changed my martial arts philosophy over time.

    When I was a teenager, I was one of those kung fu dorks who would do little low-level exercises all the time throughout the day. As responsibilities grew and I had to manage my time more and not look like a spaz, I started to conclude that it was better to get a short, focused workout in than to sort of half-ass it constantly, and the flip side is that when I have my time to relax, I use it to relax, and I found it harder to enjoy a movie or whatever while my legs are stuck in a low-level torture device. So I started to feel like I was mixing business and pleasure or something; like I wasn't enjoying my screen as much, nor was I really working out. I was in some dynamic-tensionesque limbo.

    As far as the actual stretching part goes, here was my problem: if you're planning on using it when you're relaxing, on your laptop or pliering together chainmail rings, you're probably attempting a very wide range of motion static stretch while your muscles are cold, and this is not a good way to approach stretching, in terms of gains or injury prevention, so that's something to consider too.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2011
    West Coast
    Chinese Boxing
    No...take yoga.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    C*nt London
    Shorin Ryu
    I was medium flexibility and thought using one of those a few time a week might be a good way of getting the gates to open up a bit further. Did it maybe three times a week for three weeks. Ten minutes at a time. I got a bit more flexible but also got really sore hips. Gave it up after that.

    Yoga sounds a better idea.

    I trained with a bloke a couple of months ago who teaches "Okinawan Seido", which was kind of similar to yoga to the untrained eye. Never heard of it before or since but that guy was seriously flexible.

  5. #5
    ChenPengFi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Hung Gar, Choy Lay Fut
    ...for both martial arts and breakdancing purposes...

    You want mobility, not passive flexibility.
    Here are some vids that might interest you.

    This one is long but clears up a lot of terminology:
    Last edited by ChenPengFi; 12/01/2012 5:53pm at .

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Montreal, Canada
    kung fu
    Why invest in a machine when you can do things yourself?

  7. #7
    patfromlogan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Hilo Island of Hawaii
    Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo
    The only thing I care about is kicking high and I've found that doing that keeps me flexible. I only stretch for injuries (gently, shoulders and some raised leg pulling toes back for sciatic "pipe cleaning") and never bother with any static stretching. I mean who gives a **** if I can or can't touch my toes with my legs straight? I care about kicking faces.
    "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez

  8. #8
    Certified Personal Trainer and Drinker of Coffee supporting member
    CoffeeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Sherwood, OR
    SAMBO/BJJ/Judo and others
    Stretching Machines are overpriced, bulky, and not needed.

    The most equipment you will ever need to use for stretching is a belt, stick, and possibly yoga blocks. Usually sufficient floor space is really all you need.


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